Our Fund Foundation Partners with Equality Florida & The Alliance GLBTQ Youth
Social Justice Educator Lutze Segu conducts online educational sessions for South Florida LGBTQ agency leaders
Our Fund Foundation, Equality Florida, and The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth announced they are collaborating to take collective action combatting racial inequity, discrimination, and anti-blackness in the LGBTQ+ community.
Fed up with all talk and no action while racial and social injustice flourish, the agencies partnered to create a powerful Anti-Racism Learning Series. The four-part, educational series, which Our Fund is sponsoring, will be led by Lutze Segu, MSW, a respected black queer social justice educator.
This intensive series is designed to educate South Florida’s LGBTQ+ non-profit agency leaders as to how they can work toward creating systemic change and embed anti-racist practices into the core values, policies, and practices of their respective agencies. To date, 75 participants from 38 organizations have committed to taking part in the Anti-Racism Learning Series, which will be held online.
“I’ve watched the LGBTQ+ community dance around race issues for years,” said Robin Schwartz, Miami Donor Relations and Programs Manager for Equality Florida. “We have talked-the-talk and at times took action, but we never did enough; not even close. We can wait no longer.” The program will be raw and invites participants to partake in an overdue, frank, and critical conversation about where we’ve been, where we’re at, and what and who we can be.
Organizers acknowledge this is not a quick fix and believe the practiced-based curriculum can also provide a constructive forum for participants to listen, learn, empower, and hold one another accountable for working together to build anti-racist organizations.
“Our Fund wanted to provide actionable steps in our response to the devastating impact of racism,” said David Jobin, president & CEO of Our Fund Foundation. “These online sessions are an early effort to focus on how South Florida’s LGBTQ+ leaders can embody the active practice of anti-racism as more effective allies. We want to become better ambassadors and advocates to the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movements.”
The concept for the initiative came to Schwartz after learning about a revolting racist comment made to a black woman who works at a local LGBTQ+ organization. She decided it would be important to initiate an honest dialogue about race and inequality with the leaders of all the LGBTQ+ organizations in South Florida. Schwartz contacted Pauline Green from the Alliance for GLBTQ Youth who agreed that in this moment of social uprising in support of black lives, action, more than reflection, was required. Our Fund Foundation immediately agreed to underwrite the learning series and Lutze Segu signed on to facilitate the training.
“This anti-racism learning series is only a first, small step in the work of naming and challenging white supremacy and anti-blackness in the LGBTQ+ community,” said Pauline Green executive director, The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth. “Together, we want to not only engage our fellow LGBTQ+ leaders in difficult conversations on race and discrimination, we want to lay the foundation for long-term, collective change and hold our community accountable to operationalizing anti-racism as a practice.”
“Our Fund Foundation acknowledges that LGBTQ+ people’s struggle for equality inextricably links us to other disenfranchised communities,” said Jobin. “We also understand that as a predominantly white-led and white-participant organization, we are not able to grasp or fully understand the devastating impact that racism has on black and brown people.”
Statement from Lutze B. Segu, MSW
The birth of our nation involves two immutable truths. Those truths are that indigenous genocide, coupled with chattel slavery, is the genesis of our nation-state. Put simply, the United States is stolen land built by stolen people. If we, as a nation, want to heal and move towards a future rooted in social justice, it will require that we all confront these truths. Our choices are simple; we adopt anti-racism or accept that there is no future for human beings on this planet. There is no social justice issue that does not require anti-racism. Climate justice, gender justice, racial justice, immigration, queer liberation, economic justice, workers’ rights, reproductive justice, etc all require anti-racism. Racism undermines our democracy, public good, institutions, and it is a public health crisis. White supremacy does not have a retirement plan or a succession plan, but anti-racism has many plans for our pluralistic future. Queer organizations should be at the forefront of this issue. Anti-racism is a queer issue. Queer people owe whatever liberties and freedoms we have gained to rioting and the leadership of black and brown transgender women. To honor this legacy, we must all boldly adopt anti-racism. www.LutzeSegu.com
About Our Fund Foundation
Established in 2011, Our Fund Foundation has grown into the third largest LGBT foundation in the nation. As South Florida’s only LGBT community foundation, Our Fund promotes a culture of philanthropy by uniting donors with organizations; advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties; and supporting causes within the LGBT community. For more information on Our Fund Foundation, visit www.Our-Fund.org or call (954) 565-1090.
About Equality Florida
Equality Florida consists of two organizations – Equality Florida Institute, Inc., our 501(c)(3) educational charity, and Equality Florida Action, Inc., our 501(c)(4) advocacy organization. Together these organizations form the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
About The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth
The Alliance for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (GLBTQ) Youth coordinates a full range of quality services including individual counseling, group counseling, care coordination, and youth leadership development for GLBTQ youth in Miami-Dade. We serve GLBTQ youth, families, and their communities while advocating for equal rights and status of all youth regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. For more information on The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, visit www.GLBTQAlliance.org or call (305) 899-8087.